At 26%, Colorado sees lower turnout ahead of Election Day than in last midterm

By: - November 3, 2022 2:38 pm

A driver drops off a ballot at a drop box in Parker on June 28, 2022. (Carl Payne for Colorado Newsline)

Coloradans have returned 981,210 ballots as of midnight on Wednesday, according to data released by the secretary of state’s office Thursday afternoon.

With five days until the general election, that means about 26% of the state’s active registered voters have sent their ballots in or voted in person.

It is a dip from the last midterm election in 2018, when at the same point before Election Day about 32% of active voters had returned their ballot. It’s an even more drastic decrease in relative voter turnout from the presidential election in 2020, when over 55% of active voters had returned their ballots five days before the big day. Midterms generally see a lower turnout than presidential elections.


The largest decrease in turnout between 2018 and this year is among Republican voters. At this point in 2018, about 35% of returned ballots came from Republicans. This year, it’s about 29%.

Unaffiliated voter turnout share has seen an increase, with about 30% in 2018 and 37% this year.

About 33% of the returned ballots this year are from Democratic voters.

The rate of return increased around Oct. 30.

Older voters are dominating the early voting turnout, with about 45% of the returned ballots coming from voters aged 65 years or older. Young voters between the ages of 18 and 34 have returned just under 8% of the ballots so far.

More women have voted so far than men, but just barely, with 501,128 ballots compared to 475,351.

Of the 6,382 people who have voted in person so far, 2,331 are unaffiliated, 2,284 are Republicans and 1,684 are Democrats, with the rest registered to a third party.

The secretary of state’s office plans to release turnout data every weekday until Election Day on Nov. 8.

Voters can still register to vote online at and vote in person until 7 p.m. on Election Day.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado. Wilson earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and as a student she reported on Congress and other federal beats in Washington, D.C.